Red Sox Reportedly Banned from Signing International Players in 2016-17

The Boston Red Sox have reportedly been banned from signing international players in 2016-17 due to violations of signing-bonus rules.  ESPN's Buster Olney was the first to report the news Friday, and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports confirmed the report. Per Passan, Boston will be forced to relinquish the rights of outfielders Albert Guaimaro and Simon Muzziotti, infielders Antonio Pinero and Eduardo Torrealba and right-handed pitcher Cesar Gonzalez, and the players will all become free agents. Passan also reported that the Red Sox were only allowed to spend $300,000 on international prospects last year, but they circumvented that limit by manipulating the manner in which the money was distributed. The Red Sox have been among MLB's biggest players in the international market in recent years. They signed Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada to a $31.5 million deal last year andsigned Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a $72.5 million contract in 2014. Taking Boston out of the equation could be a ...


MLB All-Star Voting 2016: Latest Ballot Results Before Roster Reveal

Although fans sometimes make strange choices for MLB All-Star Game starters, the decisions to this point will create plenty of drama leading up to the final announcement. Voting for the July 12 game closed at 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, so hopefully you were able to fill out as many ballots with your favorite players as possible before the cutoff. Some players, such as the Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz and the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout, had a virtually insurmountable lead, and it didn't matter what happened in the final days of voting. However, other races will likely go down to the last moment, and officials will make sure they have every ballot counted before revealing the results. The lineups will be announced at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday on ESPN, and until that point, we won't know the official voting results. However, here is a look at the most recent release, courtesy ...


Projecting the Top 15 MLB Trade Targets Available in 2016 Trade Season

The month of July has arrived, and that means the MLB trade market is set to kick into high gear ahead of the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline. There is still a lot to be sorted out over the next few weeks, as teams on the fringe of contention are forced to make the tough decision between buying, selling or standing pat. While those eventual decisions could alter the trade market as more teams become clear-cut sellers, for now we can already get a good read on what the trade block is expected to look like. Ahead we've provided a look at the top 15 MLB trade targets for the 2016 deadline, with those players ranked based on the contributions they could make to a contender and the value they provide from a financial standpoint. We've also given a quick rundown of others players who could be made available as the month progresses and ...


2016 MLB All Star Rosters: B/R’s 34-Man Roster Predictions

The votes are in, and now we wait for the official word on who's invited to the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Perhaps there will be some surprises. Unless, of course, all of our predictions come true. It's been a couple of weeks since our last set of predictions for the 34-man rosters for the American League and National League All-Stars. Things have changed since then. The fan vote was closed Thursday night, and the arrival of July means the grand reveal of the rosters (July 5) and the Midsummer Classic itself (July 12) are just about here. Like last time, the idea is not to propose which players should be All-Stars. It's to guess who the fans—whose voting patterns have gotten frequent updates—the players and AL manager Ned Yost and NL manager Terry Collins will choose to be in uniform at Petco Park on July 12. There's also the final vote, which ...


Will Jason Heyward Deal Come Back to Bite Chicago Cubs?

This season, there’s a euphoria that has consumed Chicago Cubs fans unlike anything the city’s North Side has seen for, say, a little over 100 years. The lovable losers finally have their World Series contender. Heck, let’s just come right out and say it: This team is the favorite to win it all. In case you haven’t heard, there’s a summer-long party raging at Wrigley Field. The team hasn’t won anything yet except a whole bunch of regular-season games. But can you blame its fans for enjoying the ride? As lifelong Cubs fans party like it’s 1908, one of the team's newcomers has to be quietly thanking baseball’s higher power (his name in Chicago is team president of baseball operations Theo Epstein) more than anyone for the Cubs’ incredible success. Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward signed an eight-year, $184 million contract this offseason, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. In his first year with the Cubs, ...


MLB Team of the Month: Jose Altuve, Wil Myers and Ian Desmond Star

July is a pivotal period for MLB. It's the last month before the non-waiver trade deadline. It gives us the All-Star Game. And it's when the various postseason races truly begin to heat up. Before we rush into July's balmy embrace, however, let's take a final glance back at June, via an installment of Bleacher Report's Team of the Month. The rules are essentially the same as Team of the Week: We're tapping 10 players—one per position, including a designated hitter and a starting pitcher—who lit up box scores. The only difference is we're examining the last 30 days instead of the last seven. To qualify, a player needs to have made the majority of his starts at the position in question. And while this is mostly about individual output, we award bonus points for gaudy stats that translated to ticks in the win column. This time around, we found room for a diminutive ...


Clayton Kershaw’s Back Injury Casts Huge Question Mark over Dodgers’ Season

The hottest team in baseball is spending less than $14 million on a starting rotation that might turn Cleveland into the city of champions. The richest team in baseball has more than $36 million tied up in starting pitchers who aren’t healthy enough to pitch. Uh, make that more than $70 million, because the Los Angeles Dodgers added Clayton Kershaw to their hefty disabled list Thursday. Remember when the Dodgers’ problem was they didn’t have a good enough rotation behind Kershaw? Well, now they don’t have a good enough rotation at all, at least until Kershaw returns from the back injury that has sent him to the 15-day DL. The Dodgers can’t, or won’t, say when that will be. As a result, we can't, or won't, say whether the Dodgers have any chance to keep this season from falling apart. Los Angeles did get a good start from Kenta Maeda on Thursday afternoon in ...


Madison Bumgarner Will Not Participate in 2016 Home Run Derby

Despite a public campaign to become the first pitcher to participate in the Home Run Derby, San Francisco Giants southpaw Madison Bumgarner will not be part of this year's event on July 11.   Connor Grossman of KNBR was among the first to report the news, citing Giants manager Bruce Bochy's comments before his team's showdown Thursday with the Oakland Athletics. “There’s no Home Run Derby with Madison," Bochy said. "That’s been nixed.” Bumgarner told ESPN's Buster Olney on June 5 that he wanted to join the event, but Bochy shut down the idea because of safety concerns for his ace. Bochy said last week he was "open-minded" about the idea, per Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, but that sentiment now appears to be gone. Bumgarner was part of a contingent of pitchers lobbying to be in the Derby. Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta and the New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard also expressed interest, ...


MLB Issues Statement Regarding Wage Limits for Minor League Players

Major League Baseball issued a strong statement Thursday, condemning a proposal that would impose salary limits for minor league baseball.  SB Nation's Grant Brisbee provided a look:  It is a response to the Save America's Pastime Act being pushed in the U.S. House of Representatives. The MLBPA also issued a statement: The bill would alter the Fair Labor Standards Act to lock in current wages and keep minor league baseball players from receiving guaranteed minimum wages or overtime pay. The season runs for roughly five months, and players would only be subject to earnings during this time period. Several in the media lashed out at MLB for its aggressive statement, including CBS Sports' Mike Axisa and the Boston Herald's Jason Mastrodonato: Tyler Palmer, who played for the Los Angeles Angels' Single-A affiliate Inland Empire 66ers last season, also criticized the statement: Hardball Talk's Bill Baer noted the league does not treat its minor leaguers well enough to justify this type of an ...


Phillies Prospect Matt Imhof Loses Eye in Accident During Training Session

Philadelphia Phillies pitching prospect Matt Imhof lost his right eye in a training accident last Saturday. Imhof explained the situation in an Instagram post: CSNPhilly.com noted the accident occurred during a "postgame stretching routine." The 22-year-old Imhof was in his second full season of professional baseball after being a second-round pick in 2014. He was pitching in High-A Clearwater before his injury, posting a 3.91 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 43 walks in 53 innings. Even though Imhof's stock had dropped off in the last year because of his command struggles, he was regarded as a potential back-end starter who could move quickly as recently as 2015. Here is what MLB.com said about Imhof in 2015, when he ranked as the Phillies' 19th-best prospect: Imhof has a solid three-pitch mix and a good feel for pitching. He throws his fastball in the upper 80s to low 90s. The pitch plays up, thanks to its natural cutting ...


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